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Roberts to Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 17 August 1857, in United States, Office of Indian Affairs, Letters Received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1880, National Archives Microcopy 234, Roll 611, NADP Document D51.
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Memorial of the Oregon Conference
to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs –

We members of the Oregon Annual Conference of the Methodist E. Church embracing the Territories of Oregon and Washington in Conference assembled Would hereby respectfully Express our unqualified approbation of the humane policy pursued by the Government of the U. S. in providing in the various treaties made with the Indian tribes of the Coast for the Settlement of this unfortunate race upon reservations of land, and the introduction among theirs of the blessings of Civilization and Christianity.
      It is a debt which in justice and humanity our Nation, now the most prosperous on Earth, owes this unhappy people and should make constant Efforts to liquidate by providing for the Political Social and Moral Elevation of the few Scattered remnants of this once mighty people.
      Permit us however to Express our Solemn Conviction that Christianity in faith and practice, must be at the foundation of all schemes at all successful in this just and philanthropic cause.
      We would therefore respectfully suggest that too Careful regard cannot be had to the moral and religious characters of the persons Selected to carry out the noble purposes of the general government in regard to the Indians.
      Otherwise if they are permitted to see infidelity, profanity, prostitution, intemperance, Sabbath breaking, fraud & abuse, without check or disapproval, they are only brought at great Expense into a position in which they can readily learn and embrace the vices of Civilization without any of its attendant blessings: And the result in a few years be an acceleration of the final Extinction of the race, or a turning away in Complete disgust from the proferred benefits of Civilization and Christianity. We [illegible] it not inappropriate in Conclusion to Express on our part as Citizens or as Ministers of the Gospel a willingness and readiness to Cooperate by our Precepts, and Example in this humane Enterprise of Elevating the Condition of this degraded race Whenever the Circumstances of the Indians do not preclude the possibility of Success.

By order of the Conference
William Roberts

Corvallis Oregon Territory Aug. 17th 1857